Some of us prefer to stay up late and sleep in (like myself). Others are content to go to bed early and wake early (the early birds who catch the worms). The problem with being a night owl is that staying up late interferes with the body’s natural melatonin production. Typically, the body’s natural production of melatonin begins to “ramp up” at around 9:00 pm each evening. The increase in melatonin results in that drowsy, ready-for-bed feeling which night owls usually ignore in order to stay up late and continue their activities (ie: watching a movie, reading, surfing the internet, etc.). Staying up late suppresses natural melatonin production and may keep night owls feeling wired instead of tired. Having bright lights on in the evening is another way to suppress natural melatonin production since melatonin is produced only when it is dark. It is important to dim the lights in the evening and limit screen time to encourage melatonin production.
While every person is different, there is a natural circadian rhythm that our bodies are accustomed to and function best at. Keeping a regular sleep schedule and staying in tune with your body’s signals allow you to have better quality sleep and to wake up feeling more rested, not groggy. Try the early bird schedule and see how you feel in the mornings. (Oh! And you don’t have to catch worms!)